Thursday, March 31, 2016

Easter Bonnet

In late December 2004, Mr. Nielson and I went into Anthropologie 
 in the Upper East Side of New York City.
 I was very pregnant with Oliver.
 (Ollie was born just two days after this shopping trip).
While browsing Anthropologie, I fell in love with a gorgeous pink felt hat.
Mr. Nielson bought it for me, and I went home on the train with it in a hatbox
and visions of me on Easter Sundays in my pink hat.
After church on Easter in 2008, we set up a tripod
and photographed our little family 
in front of our Mesa, Arizona, home.  I wore my pink Easter bonnet,
just like I always did each Easter Sunday since 2005.

Four short months after this photo, our life completely changed.
After waking up from my coma, I swore to everyone I would never be happy again.
I promised I would never be a mother again.  I swore I wouldn't do a lot of
things- including wear that pink felt hat again.
The day before Easter in 2009, I lay on my couch feeling sorry for myself.
I wasn't planning on going to church.  I felt ugly and shameful about
my appearance and who I had become.
But I got up and went to church stiff, in pain, and unhappy.
I sat in the pew without my bonnet.
I looked down the row at my family, who were sitting
together looking beautiful, healthy, and happy 
dressed in their Sunday best, honoring the Savior
and His beautiful Resurrection.
I deserve to wear that hat again.

The following Easter, I found the hat and some courage and wore it to church.
That pink hat had become a symbol of my comeback. 
The pink hat- as silly as it sounds, is symbolic to our family of His
Resurrection.  After loads of healing, I wore that hat again the next year and
every year since.  Same girl, new body, same heart, new life.  
Just like the redemptive and peaceful Resurrection, which is
full of renewal, hope, and grace.
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